Wednesday, October 10, 2001/lk
In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, psychologists and grief counselors have come up with advice on coping with the tragedy -- and with the ongoing stresses associated with "America's new war."
Psychologist Lynnea Lindsey of Gorge Counseling and Treatment Services offers some practical advice to easing stress from the trauma on a day-to-day basis.
Turn off the TV and turn on calming music. Balance the images being replayed in the media with images of "the here and now," she says. "Look outside and see that the street's still there, the neighbors are still there."
Connect with people. "Take the time to make a phone call, just because," she says.
Get proper nutrition. When we are under stress, it's even more important than usual to eat right and drink plenty of water.
Get plenty of exercise. "Exercise is really a strong coping mechanism," Lindsey says. Moving our bodies -- even if it's just a brisk walk -- can help our body and mind process stress.
Don't let tasks pile up. Although it may be hard to maintain pre-9/11 work levels, and hard to get motivated to accomplish everyday household tasks, doing so can alleviate stress. And worse, letting things stack up brings on stress of its own.
Gary Young has announced that the meditation room at the hospital is open daily during the noon hour for anyone who just wants some quiet time in a calm environment. Copies of a litany and hymn written after the Sept. 11 attacks are available in the room, as well as a booklet on surviving a tragedy. The room is open every day until Nov. 11, when Young will hold a special culmination ceremony marking the two-month anniversary of the attacks.